Home » Why A Bomb Squad Was Called On A Car Owner Who Was Just Afraid Of Door-Dings

Why A Bomb Squad Was Called On A Car Owner Who Was Just Afraid Of Door-Dings

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This is one of those questions that comes up periodically in philosophy classes, usually as an example of a sort of paradoxical thought experiment that has no known answer: Could a driver’s intense fear of getting their doors dinged actually cause multiple businesses and buildings to be evacuated? Well, I’m excited to say that thanks to a little thing we call “reality,” this question now has an answer, because this situation actually happened in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when a person’s home-made door protectors on their 2012-ish Lexus IS caused enough alarm that an entire block of the city was closed off for almost two hours, schools in the nearby area were put on lockdown, and people were evacuated from restaurants and businesses. All because some dude didn’t want his Lexus dinged.

Even better, the owner of the car was actually one of the people standing around after a the restaurant he was eating in was evacuated, watching all of the police activity in the area around where he parked his car across the street. It wasn’t until the cops ran the license plate and called the owner on the phone that the owner realized it was him and his strangely bomb-looking DIY door protectors that were causing all of the ruckus.

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Here’s the post about the lockdown – and its later resolution – from the Murfreesboro Police Department:

… and the follow up:

To be fair, those dent protectors do look weirdly bomb-like, especially with those wires between them. I don’t think you could open the passenger side doors with those things on there? They really resemble some sort of explosives packed into sheets and wired to blow the whole side off that car.

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Of course, the very existence of these handcrafted door protectors raises so many more questions. Questions like, why? How many times has this guy had his doors dinged? And that seems kind of a high location for where doors usually ding? And why did he park the side with the door-ding guards in an end spot where they can’t possibly do any good, since there’s no car next to it there?

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And then of course is the bigger question: does this look better than having a few little door dings? How are they stuck on there? Magnets? Glue? JB Weld? Are the wires there so he can carry them around, nunchuck-style, when not in use? Does this person really prefer the look of driving around with a pair of mummified salamis to just risking some dents?

[Editor’s Note: I’ve never seen someone who could benefit more from owning a Citroen C4 Cactus:

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Screen Shot 2023 10 26 At 9.44.56 Am

It’s a glorious machine. I’ve driven one. -DT]. 

Anyway, everything was resolved and no one was hurt, just inconvenienced because of someone’s strange, confusing, and let’s be honest here, pretty needless, attempt to avoid a few tiny little scratches or dents. This has to be the largest recorded inconveniencing of un-related people by an attempt to avoid door dings in history.

I hope if this guy decides to keep using these things, he at least Sharpies NOT A BOMB onto each of the thingies to keep everyone nice and calm.

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Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
8 months ago

The guy had no idea you could buy door rub strips at an auto parts store. Sorry Tennessee

Sbzr
Sbzr
8 months ago

I understand caring for the vehicle but if these are magnetic it doesn’t matter the material used as a cushion, he keep that for a month and the paint would be all scratched no matter what

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
8 months ago

Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare‘s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is that a bomb-maker is blown (“hoist”, the past tense of “hoise”) off the ground by his own bomb (“petard“), and indicates an ironic reversal or poetic justice.[1]

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
8 months ago

America has become a paranoid tribe of people who don’t handle tech well. A few years after 911 at an MSP airport car rental facility they noticed a “box with wires coming out of it’ in a returned rentals trunk. Bomb squad was called and duly dunked and detonated it. Turned out it was an electronic sensor for a biology research project that was forgotten!

Millermatic
Millermatic
8 months ago

I’m going to guess these are held on by magnets… and he removes them when the car is in motion. As for the installation height… given the height of trucks and suvs… this might not be far off.

Hardly elegant… but I’m not sure he needs to be mocked over this. Assuming, of course, that they come off when not in use. If not… he deserves to be mocked.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago

Yeah, I don’t get how these look better than the generic self-adhesive rubber straps you can buy from Amazon.

But, I also don’t understand how an ill-fitting rubber and Neoprene steering wheel condom somehow looks better than just the steering wheel

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago

Surely the person who called the cops probably also posts to the Ring community of gunshots every time they hear a loud bang.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

This person lives on my street. They are retired, they are bored, and they are VERY concerned about EVERYTHING.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago

The black tube inside must be magnetic. Wrapped in whatever he had laying around. I think the wires would prevent it from becoming a projectile or road debris if it ever came loose.

Looks too high up to accomplish much. I think this may be something specific. Like a careless coworker with a high vehicle that’s dinged his doors more than once.

Perhaps this guy works in an industrial field. Where the magnets and steel and cabling come easy, but hasn’t a clue about paint care or cosmetics.

Honestly to me it doesn’t look like a bomb whatsoever. I first saw it and thought why the hell are there umbrellas attached to the doors?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

And all because he was too cheap to buy the crossover version with plastic cladding on the sides.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
8 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

It’s not his fault other people destroy his shit.

Black Peter
Black Peter
8 months ago

You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Perfect.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Like the old car commercial “we’ll blow their doors off!”

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
8 months ago

Rubber Bomby Buggy Bumpers

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

“A bomb?”
“No officers… those are.. uh uh bumpers… yeah… rubber bumpers, to protect the doors from dings.”

“Oh, on your way then. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

SCJeff
SCJeff
8 months ago

I think the cables are on there to prevent these things from being stolen. I’m sure many thieves have walked up to this car many times and then been bitterly disappointed to find out they can’t easily steal these, obviously, valuable bumpers.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
8 months ago

This reminds me of the clear vinyl furniture covers and carpet runners some people used to “keep things looking nice.” Making them ugly so they stay nice?

But maybe this guy’s car is a lease and he got hit with extra charges for door dings on his previous lease — got financially dinged for dings.

Maymar
Maymar
8 months ago

Can you lease a 10+ year old car?

Thomas Benham
Thomas Benham
8 months ago

That’s how I always thought of nose bras. The big black scab on the nose of your car looks worse than stone chips.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
8 months ago

Yeah it’s basically like saving your girlfriend for the next guy.

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
8 months ago

That is a pretty weird looking device, but the response reminds me of that kid in Ohio who had his bike destroyed and was also arrested because they thought his bicycle was a bomb due to a band sticker (the band’s name is “this bike is a pipe bomb”). Police really like to get the chance to use their SWAT and bomb disposal toys.

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/uwire/uwire_GUWC0412200632327.html?pagewanted=print

Sklooner
Sklooner
8 months ago

I am surprised that Hamas was not brought up

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
8 months ago

Why not just buy some of those compressed foam hollow tubes (or even rubber tubes) and just slit them to slide into small straight brackets that are affixed to the inside door seams/hinges and a/b/c pillars? It’d cost like 10 bucks and wouldn’t ruin a whole heap of pillowcases.

Last edited 8 months ago by ...getstoneyII
Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
8 months ago

He pretty much went with the worst design for what he’s trying to accomplish. While I can’t see how attaching a protector will cause less damage than a few annoying door dings, why not just buy small roll of rubber tape from 3M? A few layers of that will do the job and look significantly better.

Timbales
Timbales
8 months ago

Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem like a logical place to attach bombs to a car. I don’t look at that and think ‘bomb’.

B L
B L
8 months ago
Reply to  Timbales

I agree it would seem an odd place to attach a bomb, but I can certainly see how someone could look at that and think it might be an explosive, especially when there’s not another immediately obvious thing that it could be. Better to err on the side of caution here I think.

DadBod
DadBod
8 months ago
Reply to  Timbales

It looks exactly like some C4 in an A-Team episode

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Not quite. Needs a red blinky light.

Paul B
Paul B
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Hannibal, noticing the police took the bait, now proclaims:

“I love it when a plan comes together.”.

The team now swoops in and steals a bunch of equipment from the police department garage.

Timbales
Timbales
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

I pity the fool who falls for a poorly place fake bomb.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Timbales

It’s a shaped charge set to do damage to whoever would ding his car.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Poor man’s explosive reactive armor.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Timbales

Also, I think the goal is generally for bombs to not be obvious so they aren’t stopped before they explode, just seems like inside the trunk would be a more likely place for a real one

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago

I’ve found it’s not necessary to worry about door dings when other drivers take care to maintain a proper distance out of, presumably, respect:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51539214093_a7df39f6f3_c.jpg

Mostly, though, I’ve found it’s just not necessary to worry about door dings.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Just put 12-inch spikes on your lug nuts, like the chariots in Ben Hur.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
8 months ago

Do you mean like the Ram 3500 that some nut job in my town drives?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago

Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that. The 96 uses lug bolts, not nuts.

AC2DE
AC2DE
8 months ago

Or like a quarter of the semis on the road. Seriously, how are those stupid things not wildly illegal?

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
8 months ago

I can be pretty fanatical about my cars, especially when it comes to the mechanicals, but dings, scuffs, nicks from road debris, and hell even curb rash are all just part of owning a car that gets driven.

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
8 months ago

All of the above is true, except curb rash. All others are somewhat unavoidable but curb rash is almost always a personal error, and a painful one especially when you go years trying to keep them perfect only for one small slip up to damage them.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
8 months ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

I blame the people who designed this dumb intersection near me with a way too small radius and curb right against the road with no shoulder, forcing me against the curb because trucks can’t fit in the turn (despite there being several business that get 18-wheeler deliveries there)
Ok maybe it was still my fault, but fuck that turn.

Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
8 months ago

I am trying to change my ways. I have three nice cars, two black, and one dark cherry, that I try to project from dense and dings. I just bought a $4000 car to add to the fleet. It’s silver, and has about a million dints and dings already. The passenger side has a ding or dent about every 2 inches, all the way from the front fender to over the rear wheel, all at exactly the same level. Clearly a previous owner’s other car parked on that side, and dinged it often.

It’s kinda freeing. Slightly too close parking spots I would bypass in my nicer cars, I can whip into with this one, and honestly not give a hoot.

NewBalanceExtraWide
NewBalanceExtraWide
8 months ago

This reminds me a bit of an artist in the Seattle area named Subculture Joe. He’s best known for putting a ball and chain around the ankle of the Hammering Man, but earlier, he had a sculpture of a heart in the bed of a cheap pickup. It was driven into a public square, then the driver jumped out and slashed all the tires. This being a shitty old pickup, it had stuff written on it, including the words “the bomb.” Of course it shut down the city for hours. And this was in the 90s, I could only imagine how badly that stunt would have gone these days.

DadBod
DadBod
8 months ago

Kind of like the dorks who put a bunch of weird LED box things around NYC as “marketing” and caused havoc.

LTDScott
LTDScott
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod
DadBod
DadBod
8 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

thanks for the clarification, I am an unreliable narrator

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

But you did well enough to remind me of the Mooninites and this whole episode. So thank you.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
8 months ago

This reminds me a bit of an artist in the Seattle area named Subculture Joe.

aka Jason Sprinkle.

It’s a bit of a read, but there’s a photo of the truck at Westlake Center on page 7:

https://www.csun.edu/~vcspc00g/301/bombthatblewupseattle-tdr.pdf

755_SoCalRally
755_SoCalRally
8 months ago

IIRC, the artist built a soft inner liner into the ball and chain so that the statue’s “ankle” wouldn’t be damaged. Good times!

Alexk98
Alexk98
8 months ago

Assuming these things are secured with magnets since that what it looks like, the duct tape and non-microfiber cloth material and wire are going to scratch THE HECK out of the paint and be way worse than a few tiny door dings

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
8 months ago

Looks like something from a budget Mexican Drug Cartel movie.
And what a wuss solution here. He just needs to glue some carpet of his choosing to the doors. Maybe do a door “wrap” with Hefty Bags and duct tape. Or just put on a shit load of the fake bullet stickers and not worry about the dings.

Last edited 8 months ago by Col Lingus
Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

So you’re saying he needs to buy the dumb and dumber van replica?

Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I, too, believe he should take this opportunity to bring back the Mohs Safarikar

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

How about wrapping just the doors and permanently attach a bumper to the wrap. Yes, we just invented this.

Frackle
Frackle
8 months ago

I’ve heard in Korea they love to keep the little foam blocks taped to the trim for shipping on the car for this reason. Again, you start to wonder whether a car with a dent here and there wouldn’t look better than one done up like it’s in a motion capture suit.

DadBod
DadBod
8 months ago
Reply to  Frackle

I saw many cars in NYC with hideous rubber flaps on their bumpers that looked so much worse than any paint damage

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Dodge charger and challenger owners notoriously keep the shipping protector plastic on their bumpers. There’s a thriving secondary market for people who lost theirs. They’re literally trash but people pay good money for them.

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